Local News


UPDATE: State narrows list of potential charter schools

Posted at 10:00 PM, Nov 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-16 22:04:38-05

LATEST: The Nevada Department of Education narrowed down the number of schools for the Achievement School District to nine, all in Clark County.

They include Brinley Middle School, Cambeiro Elementary School, Craig Elementary School, Jerome Mack Middle School, Von Tobel Middle School, Orr Middle School, Bailey Middle School, Fitzgerald Elementary School and Kelly Elementary School.

The reasoning behind the nine can be found here, but is partly based off poor performance.  

However, not everybody is on board with the changes.  
In a statement given by the Clark County School District, they listed their biggest concerns with the changes, saying there is no changes research that shows a conversion from a public school to a charter school would improve educational outcomes. Their full statement can be found here.
The state will narrow that list down one more time in December.  
UPDATE: At a Thursday meeting of the Nevada State Board of Education, more than 100 parents and teachers spoke out defending their public Clark County schools from being possibly taken over by the Achievement School District charter plan.
Parents argued that they're happy with the education their students are getting, and that schools labeled as underperforming should be given a chance to continue to improve with a plan already in place.
But Achievement School District Superintendent Jana Wilcox Lavin said the charter schools would have benefits, including the fact they would promote individual attention and would be held directly accountable to the state.
Dozens of schools were named on a list for possible takeover. That list will eventually be narrowed to no more than 6 in February. A preliminary list will be presented to the board next Tuesday.
LAS VEGAS (KTNV) -- A battle is taking place in Clark County as parents and teachers fight to keep some underperforming schools from transitioning to charter schools under state control.
On Wednesday, that fight hit the sidewalks in front of Monaco Middle School, near Nellis and Lake Mead boulevards.
Parents, students and teachers organized a protest to send the message they don’t want the school to become part of the newly formed Achievement School District.
Monaco is among 21 Clark County School District locations identified as potential candidates for the Achievement School District.

For a full list of schools:

Parents at Monaco Middle School say they know the school has been underperforming in the past, but say they are seeing improvements.
"His grades have improved. His attendance has improved," Leilani Hoe said. 
The Achievement School District Superintendent, Jana Wilcox Lavin, says all 34 of the schools being considered statewide are on the list for a reason.
"We want to pick the schools that have demonstrated they have been underperforming for the longest period of time," Wilcox Lavin said.
She is now working with the Nevada Department of Education to narrow the list down to as many as six schools statewide to be run as charter schools in the district’s first year.
They will continue those discussions Thursday morning.
Teachers and staff at the schools facing potential transition say the measurements being used can be deceptive.
"When you measure our school by aggregate test scores, it doesn't give you a whole lot of information about the hard work we have accomplished," said Allison Clark, the Monaco Middle School psychologist.
Democratic State Sen. Mo Denis, who voted against the legislation that created the new district, says he thinks Nevada needs to give the schools more time to turn things around after other recent changes aimed at improving performance.
"We have invested in a lot of these schools, and Monaco is a perfect example of one we have invested some money in over the last few years and they are starting to see some great progress," Denis said.
Parents at Monaco praised the hard work of the teachers saying the fear that many wouldn’t get positions with the charter companies leading to cuts to vital programs.
"They are going to take music away because that is extra money out of their pocket, because they don't have to pay for the mariachi teacher to be here," Louise Ndolo Herman said.
Wilcox Lavin says she has been meeting with parents over the past few months to discuss the benefits of the the Achievement School District, and says more meetings planned after the list of school narrows in the next six weeks.
The superintendent added that there have been misunderstandings about the goals of the charter schools.
"Operators want to be here to partner with, then continue building on the things that are working and to address the things that aren't working," Wilcox Lavin said.
The Achievement School District is scheduled to release a more narrowly defined list of potential charter schools on Nov. 15.
Final decisions are set to be made on Feb. 1.